Vaccines will only form part of the solution to rebuilding international tourism with co-ordination the key to allow the global sector to get on the road to recovery.
The importance of co-ordination and harmonisation of Covid-19 measures was one of the key messages of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee which met in Madrid this week. The committee was set up by World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to look at ways to restart global tourism.
It said vaccines had created a “critical window in the fight against the pandemic and to promote the safe resumption of international travel”.
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili added: “The roll-out of vaccines is a step in the right direction, but the restart of tourism cannot wait.
“Vaccines must be part of a wider, co-ordinated approach that includes certificates and passes for safe cross-border travel.
“In the longer-term, we also need to restore confidence in tourism. The United for Travel campaign will help us achieve this, providing a clear and strong message that safe tourism is now possible.”
Committee members highlighted the importance of stepping up co-ordination, which would be carried out within the framework of International Health Regulations.
They also stressed the importance of vaccination certificates to ensure the implementation of “common, harmonised digital related travel principles, protocols and documents”.
In a further move, the committee backed the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) initiative to develop a harmonised system of border controls.